Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms. Socialist systems are divided into market forms. Non-market socialism involves the substitution of factor markets and money with engineering and technical criteria based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing an economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws from those of capitalism. Non-market socialism aims to circumvent the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system. By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the profit motive, with respect to the operation of owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them.
Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm, or accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend. The socialist calculation debate concerns the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a socialist system. Socialist politics has been both nationalist in orientation. Originating within the socialist movement, social democracy has embraced a mixed economy with a market that includes substantial state intervention in the form of income redistribution, a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism where there is more decentralized control of companies, currencies and natural resources; the socialist political movement includes a set of political philosophies that originated in the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 18th century and out of concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. By the late 19th century, after the work of Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels, socialism had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for a post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership of the means of production.
By the 1920s, social democracy and communism had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement. By this time, socialism emerged as "the most influential secular movement of the twentieth century, worldwide, it is a political ideology, a wide and divided political movement" and while the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the Soviet economic model, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism or a non-planned administrative or command economy. Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Today, some socialists have adopted the causes of other social movements, such as environmentalism and progressivism. In 21st century America, the term socialism, without clear definition, has become a pejorative used by conservatives to taint liberal and progressive policies and public figures.
For Andrew Vincent, "he word ‘socialism’ finds its root in the Latin sociare, which means to combine or to share. The related, more technical term in Roman and medieval law was societas; this latter word could mean companionship and fellowship as well as the more legalistic idea of a consensual contract between freemen". The term "socialism" was created by Henri de Saint-Simon, one of the founders of what would be labelled "utopian socialism". Simon coined the term as a contrast to the liberal doctrine of "individualism", which stressed that people act or should act as if they are in isolation from one another; the original "utopian" socialists condemned liberal individualism for failing to address social concerns during the industrial revolution, including poverty, social oppression and gross inequalities in wealth, thus viewing liberal individualism as degenerating society into supporting selfish egoism that harmed community life through promoting a society based on competition. They presented socialism as an alternative to liberal individualism based on the shared ownership of resources, although their proposals for socialism differed significantly.
Saint-Simon proposed economic planning, scientific administration and the application of modern scientific advancements to the organisation of society. By contrast, Robert Owen proposed the organisation of ownership in cooperatives; the term "socialism" is attributed to Pierre Leroux and to Marie Roch Louis Reybaud in France. The modern definition and usage of "socialism" settled by the 1860s, becoming the predominant term among the group of words "co-operative", "mutualist" and "associationist", used as synonyms; the term "communism" fell out of use during this period, despite earlier distinctions between socialism and communism from the 1840s. An early distinction between socialism and communism was that the former aimed to only socialise production while the latter aimed to socialise both production and consumption. However, M
Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism in opposition to social hierarchy. It involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished; the term left-wing can refer to "the radical, reforming, or socialist section of a political party or system". The political terms "Left" and "Right" were coined during the French Revolution, referring to the seating arrangement in the French Estates General: those who sat on the left opposed the monarchy and supported the revolution, including the creation of a republic and secularization, while those on the right were supportive of the traditional institutions of the Old Regime. Use of the term "Left" became more prominent after the restoration of the French monarchy in 1815 when it was applied to the "Independents"; the word "wing" was appended to Left and Right in the late 19th century with disparaging intent and "left-wing" was applied to those who were unorthodox in their religious or political views.
The term was applied to a number of movements republicanism during the French Revolution in the 18th century, followed by socialism, communism and social democracy in the 19th and 20th centuries. Since the term left-wing has been applied to a broad range of movements including civil rights movements, feminist movements, anti-war movements and environmental movements, as well as a wide range of parties. According to former professor of economics Barry Clark, " claim that human development flourishes when individuals engage in cooperative, mutually respectful relations that can thrive only when excessive differences in status and wealth are eliminated". In politics, the term "Left" derives from the French Revolution, as the anti-monarchist Montagnard and Jacobin deputies from the Third Estate sat to the left of the presiding member's chair in parliament, a habit which began in the French Estates General of 1789. Throughout the 19th century in France, the main line dividing Left and Right was between supporters of the French Republic and those of the monarchy.
The June Days Uprising during the Second Republic was an attempt by the Left to assert itself after the 1848 Revolution, but only a small portion of the population supported this. In the mid-19th century, socialism and anti-clericalism became features of the French Left. After Napoleon III's 1851 coup and the subsequent establishment of the Second Empire, Marxism began to rival radical republicanism and utopian socialism as a force within left-wing politics; the influential Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, published in 1848, asserted that all human history is the history of class struggle. They predicted that a proletarian revolution would overthrow bourgeois capitalism and create a classless, post-monetary communist society, it was in this period that the word "wing" was appended to both Right. In the United States, many leftists, social liberals and trade unionists were influenced by the works of Thomas Paine, who introduced the concept of asset-based egalitarianism, which theorises that social equality is possible by a redistribution of resources.
The International Workingmen's Association, sometimes called the First International, brought together delegates from many different countries, with many different views about how to reach a classless and stateless society. Following a split between supporters of Marx and Mikhail Bakunin, anarchists formed the International Workers' Association; the Second International became divided over the issue of World War I. Those who opposed the war, such as Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg, saw themselves as further to the left. In the United States after Reconstruction, the phrase "the Left" was used to describe those who supported trade unions, the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement. More in the United States, left-wing and right-wing have been used as synonyms for Democratic and Republican, or as synonyms for liberalism and conservatism respectively. Since the Right was populist, both in the Western and the Eastern Bloc anything viewed as avant-garde art was called leftist in all Europe, thus the identification of Picasso's Guernica as "leftist" in Europe and the condemnation of the Russian composer Shostakovich's opera in Pravda as follows: "Here we have'leftist' confusion instead of natural, human music".
The following positions are associated with left-wing politics. Leftist economic beliefs range from Keynesian economics and the welfare state through industrial democracy and the social market to nationalization of the economy and central planning, to the anarcho-syndicalist advocacy of a council- and assembly-based self-managed anarchist communism. During the industrial revolution, leftists supported trade unions. At the beginning of the 20th century, many leftists advocated strong government intervention in the economy. Leftists continue to criticize what they perceive as the exploitative nature of globalization, the "race to the bottom" and unjust lay-offs. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the belief that government ought to be directly involved in the day-to-day workings of an economy declined in popularity amongst the center-left social democrats who became influenced by "Third Way" ideology. Other leftists believe in Marxian economics; some distinguish Marx's economic theories from his political philos
Metropolitan Borough of Walsall
The Metropolitan Borough of Walsall is a local government district in the West Midlands, with the status of a metropolitan borough. It is named after its largest settlement, but covers a larger area which includes the towns of Aldridge, Brownhills and Willenhall; the borough had an estimated population of 254,500 in 2007. The current boundaries were set as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, with a change to the north of the borough in 1994, it is bounded on the west by the City of Wolverhampton, the south by the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell, to the south east by the City of Birmingham, by the Staffordshire districts of Lichfield, Cannock Chase and South Staffordshire to the east and northwest respectively. Most of the borough is industrialised and densely populated, but areas around the north and east of the borough are open space. In 1986 the borough became an effective unitary authority when the West Midlands County Council was abolished; however it remains part of the West Midlands for ceremonial purposes, for functions such as policing and public transport.
The residents of the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall are represented in the British Parliament by Members of Parliament for three separate parliamentary constituencies. Since the 2017 General Election, Walsall North has been represented by Eddie Hughes MP, Walsall South by Valerie Vaz MP and Aldridge-Brownhills by Wendy Morton MP; the borough is part of the West Midlands constituency in the European Parliament. The West Midlands region elects six MEPs, as at 2009 made up of two Conservatives, one from the Labour Party, one Liberal Democrat, two members of the United Kingdom Independence Party. Both UKIP MEPs have since left the party. In 1974, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council was created to administer the newly formed metropolitan borough. Elections to the council take place in three out of every four years, with one-third of the seats being contested at each election. Between its formation in 1974 and the 2003 election, the council varied between control by the Labour Party, where no one party had an overall majority.
From 2003 to 2011 the Conservative Party held a majority of councillors. However at the 2011 election the Conservative Party lost five seats, while Labour gained eight, afterwards no party held a majority; the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall is based on an amalgamation of two former local government districts, Walsall County Borough and Aldridge-Brownhills Urban District. At the time of the United Kingdom Census 2001, according to the Office for National Statistics, the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall had a total resident population of 253,499, of which 123,189 were male and 130,310 were female, with 101,333 households; the Borough occupied 10,395 hectares at the time of the 2001 census. Its population density was 24.39 people per hectare compared with an average of 28.41 across the West Midlands metropolitan county. The median age of the population was 37, compared with 36 within the West Midlands metropolitan county and 37 across England and Wales; the majority of the population of the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall were born in England.
Data on religious beliefs across the borough in the 2001 census show that 72.1% declared themselves to be Christian, 10.0% said they held no religion, 5.4% reported themselves as Muslim. Whereas in the 2011 Census 59% declared themselves to be Christian, 26% said they held no religion or did not state their religion, 8.2% reported themselves as Muslim. Within the Metropolitan Borough, 42.84% of households owned a single car or van, with 31.05% owning none. The average car ownership per household was 1.01, compared with 0.96 across the West Midlands metropolitan county. The table below details the population change in the area since 1801. Although the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall has existed as a metropolitan borough only since 1974, figures have been generated by combining data from the towns and civil parishes that would be constituent parts of the borough. At the time of the 2001 census, there were 105,590 people in employment who were resident within Walsall Metropolitan Borough. Of these, 18.60 % worked including repair of motor vehicles.
At the 2001 UK census, Walsall Metropolitan Borough had 180,623 residents aged 16 to 74. 2.3% of these people were students with jobs, 6.0% looking after home or family, 6.8% permanently sick or disabled and 2.4% economically inactive for other reasons. These figures are in line with the averages for England, though Metropolitan Borough of Walsall has a higher rate of people who are permanently sick and disabled, where the national average is 5.3%. The Metropolitan Borough of Walsall is split between several Travel to Work Areas; the central and northern areas of the borough are within the Walsall and Cannock TTWA, whilst the majority of the area west of the M6 motorway is within the Wolverhampton TTWA. The southeast of the Metropolitan Borough is within the Birmingham TTWA; the entire borough is within the Birmingham Larger Urban Zone. Average house prices in the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall were fourth out of the metropolitan boroughs in the West Midlands county, with the average house price within the borough being £131,131 during the period April – June 2009, compared with the average across the
Politics of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is a unitary state with devolution, governed within the framework of a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch Queen Elizabeth II, is the head of state while the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May, is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the British government, on behalf of and by the consent of the monarch, as well as by the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as in the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies; the judiciary is independent of the legislature. The highest court is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; the UK political system is a multi-party system. Since the 1920s, the two dominant parties have been the Labour Party. Before the Labour Party rose in British politics, the Liberal Party was the other major political party, along with the Conservatives.
While coalition and minority governments have been an occasional feature of parliamentary politics, the first-past-the-post electoral system used for general elections tends to maintain the dominance of these two parties, though each has in the past century relied upon a third party, such as the Liberal Democrats, to deliver a working majority in Parliament. A Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government held office from 2010 until 2015, the first coalition since 1945; the coalition ended following parliamentary elections on 7 May 2015, in which the Conservative Party won an outright majority of 330 seats in the House of Commons, while their coalition partners lost all but eight seats. With the partition of Ireland, Northern Ireland received home rule in 1920, though civil unrest meant direct rule was restored in 1972. Support for nationalist parties in Scotland and Wales led to proposals for devolution in the 1970s, though only in the 1990s did devolution happen. Today, Scotland and Northern Ireland each possess a legislature and executive, with devolution in Northern Ireland being conditional on participation in certain all-Ireland institutions.
The UK government remains responsible for non-devolved matters and, in the case of Northern Ireland, co-operates with the government of the Republic of Ireland. It is a matter of dispute as to whether increased autonomy and devolution of executive and legislative powers has contributed to the increase in support for independence; the principal Scottish pro-independence party, the Scottish National Party, became a minority government in 2007 and went on to win an overall majority of MSPs at the 2011 Scottish parliament elections and forms the Scottish Government administration. A 2014 referendum on independence led with 44.7 % voting for it. In Northern Ireland, a smaller percentage vote for Irish nationalist parties; the largest, Sinn Féin, not only advocates Irish reunification, but its members abstain from taking their elected seats in the Westminster parliament, as this would entail taking a pledge of allegiance to the British monarch. The constitution of the United Kingdom is uncodified, being made up of constitutional conventions and other elements such as EU law.
This system of government, known as the Westminster system, has been adopted by other countries those that were parts of the British Empire. The United Kingdom is responsible for several dependencies, which fall into two categories: the Crown dependencies, in the immediate vicinity of the UK, British Overseas Territories, which originated as colonies of the British Empire; the Economist Intelligence Unit rated the United Kingdom as a "full democracy" in 2017. The British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, is the chief of state of the United Kingdom. Though she takes little direct part in government, the Crown remains the fount in which ultimate executive power over government lies; these powers are known as royal prerogative and can be used for a vast amount of things, such as the issue or withdrawal of passports, to the dismissal of the Prime Minister or the declaration of war. The powers are delegated from the monarch in the name of the Crown, can be handed to various ministers, or other officers of the Crown, can purposely bypass the consent of Parliament.
The head of Her Majesty's Government, the prime minister has weekly meetings with the sovereign, where she may express her feelings, warn, or advise the prime minister in the government's work. According to the uncodified constitution of the United Kingdom, the monarch has the following powers:Domestic powers The power to dismiss and appoint a prime minister The power to dismiss and appoint other ministers The power to summon and prorogue Parliament The power to grant or refuse Royal Assent to bills The power to commission officers in the Armed Forces The power to command the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom The power to appoint members to the Queen's Counsel The power to issue and withdraw passports The power to grant prerogative of mercy The power to grant honours The power to create corporations via Royal CharterForeign powers The power to ratify and make treaties The power to declare war and peace The power to deploy the Armed Forces overseas The power to recognize states The power to credit and receive diplomats Executive power in the United Kingdom is exercised by the Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, via Her Majesty's Government and the devolved national authorities - the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Exec
Walsall is a large industrialised market town in the West Midlands. Part of Staffordshire, it is located 8 miles north-west of Birmingham, 6 miles east of Wolverhampton and 9 miles from Lichfield. Walsall is the administrative centre of the wider Metropolitan Borough of Walsall. At the 2011 census, the town's built-up area had a population of 67,594, with the wider borough having a population of 269,323; the name Walsall is thought to have derived from the words "Walh halh", meaning "valley of the Welsh speakers". Walsall is first referenced as'Walesho' in a document dated 1002; as a result of a clerical error, it is not referred to in the Domesday Book, while the settlements of Aldridge, Shelfield, Bloxwich, Great Barr and Rushall within the Metropolitan Borough are. However, it is believed that a manor was held here by William FitzAnsculf, who held numerous manors in the Midlands. By the first part of the 13th century, Walsall was a small market town, with the weekly market being introduced in 1220 and held on Tuesdays.
The mayor of Walsall was created as a political position in the 14th century. Queen Mary's Grammar School was founded in 1554, the school carries the queen's personal badge as its emblem: the Tudor Rose and the sheaf of arrows of Mary's mother Catherine of Aragon tied with a Staffordshire Knot; the town was visited by Queen Elizabeth I, when it was known as'Walshale'. It was visited by Henrietta Maria in 1643, she stayed in the town for one night at a building named the'White Hart' in the area of Caldmore. The Industrial Revolution changed Walsall from a village of 2,000 people in the 16th century to a town of over 86,000 in 200 years; the town manufactured a wide range of products including saddles, chains and plated ware. Nearby, limestone quarrying provided the town with much prosperity. In 1824, the Walsall Corporation received an Act of Parliament to improve the town by providing lighting and a gasworks; the gasworks was built in 1826 at a cost of £4,000. In 1825, the corporation built, they were known to the area as'Molesley's Almshouses'.
The'Walsall Improvement and Market Act' was passed in 1848 and amended in 1850. The Act provided facilities for the poor and extending the sewerage system and giving the commissioners the powers to construct a new gas works. On 10 October 1847, a gas explosion killed one person and destroyed the west window of St Matthew's Church. Walsall received a railway line in 1847, 48 years after canals reached the town, Bescot having been served since 1838 by the Grand Junction Railway. In 1855, Walsall's first newspaper, the Walsall Courier and South Staffordshire Gazette, was published; the Whittimere Street drill hall was completed in 1866. Over 2000 men from Walsall were killed in fighting during the First World War, they are commemorated by the town's cenotaph:, located on the site of a bomb, dropped by Zeppelin'L 21' – killing the town's mayoress, two others. Damage from the Zeppelin can still be seen on what is now a club on the corner of the main road, just opposite a furniture shop. A plaque commemorates the incident.
The town has a memorial to two local VC recipients, John Henry Carless and Frederick Gibbs. Walsall's first cinema opened in the town centre in 1908; the first Wurlitzer theatre organ in Great Britain was installed in the New Picture House cinema in Lower Bridge Street in the town centre. It was renamed the Gaumont Odeon. Slum clearances began after the end of World War I, with thousands of 19th-century buildings around the town centre being demolished as the 20th century wore on, with new estates being built away from the town centre during the 1920s and 1930s; these were concentrated in areas to the north of the town centre such as Coal Pool, Blakenall Heath and Harden. After the end of World War II, Beechdale. Significant developments took place nearer to the town centre during the 1960s when a host of tower blocks were built around the town centre; the Memorial Gardens opened in 1952 in honour of the town's fallen combatants of the two world wars. The Old Square Shopping Centre, a modern indoor shopping complex featuring many big retail names, opened in 1969.
The Old Square shopping centre is laying derelict, with shops set to open in the centre soon. Primark and The Co-operative have opened in the former Tesco store, after the supermarket chained moved to Littleton Street by the college. A row of derelict shops were demolished in 2016, rebuilt as a Poundland, which opened on Saturday 15 July 2017, B & M, which opened on 17 August 2017; the Entertainer Ltd. opened a store on 21 October 2017. The County Borough of Walsall, which consisted of Walsall and Bloxwich, was expanded in 1966 to incorporate most of Darlaston and Willenhall, as well as small parts of Bilston and Wednesbury; the current Metropolitan Borough of Walsall was formed in 1974 when Aldridge-Brownhills Urban District was incorporated into Walsall. At the same time, Walsall was transferred from the historic county of Staffordshire to become part of the new West Midlands county; the Saddlers Centre, a modern shopping mall, opened in 1980. On 23 November 1981, an F1/T2 tornado touched down in Bloxwich and moved over parts of Walsall town centre and surrounding suburbs, causing some damage.
The Jerome K. Jerome mu
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
2001 United Kingdom general election
The 2001 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 7 June 2001, four years after the previous election on 1 May 1997, to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. Under the leadership of Tony Blair, the governing Labour Party was re-elected to serve a second term in government with another landslide victory, returning 413 of the 418 seats won by the party in the previous general election, a net loss of 5 seats, though with lower turnout than before—59.4%, compared to 71.3% in the previous election. Tony Blair went on to become the first Labour Prime Minister to serve a consecutive full term in office, it was dubbed "the quiet landslide" by the media. There was little change outside Northern Ireland, with 620 out of the 641 seats electing candidates from the same party as they did in 1997. Factors contributing to the Labour victory were a strong economy and falling unemployment, as well as that Labour was seen as having delivered on many key election pledges that it had made in 1997.
The Conservative Party, under William Hague's leadership, was still divided on the issue of Europe and the party's policy platform was considered to have shifted to a right wing focus. Hague was hindered by a series of embarrassing publicity stunts, resigned as party leader three months becoming the first leader of the Conservative or Unionist party in the House of Commons since Austen Chamberlain to not be Prime Minister; the election was a repeat of the 1997 election, with Labour losing only 6 seats overall and the Conservatives making a net gain of one seat. The Conservatives did manage to gain a seat in Scotland, which ended the party's status as an'England-only' party in the prior parliament, but once again were left unrepresented in Wales. Although they did not gain many seats, one of the new MPs elected was future Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron; the Liberal Democrats gained six seats. The 2001 election is the last to date in which any government has held an overall majority of more than 100 seats in the House of Commons, one of only two since the Second World War in which one party won over 400 MPs.
It was the last election at which Labour secured over 40% of the popular vote until the snap election in 2017. Change was seen in Northern Ireland, with the moderately unionist Ulster Unionist Party losing four seats to the more hardline Democratic Unionist Party; this transition was mirrored in the nationalist community with the moderate SDLP losing votes to the more staunchly republican and abstentionist Sinn Féin. The election was marked by exceptionally low voter turnout, falling below 60% for the first time since 1918; the election was broadcast live on the BBC, presented by Jeremy Paxman, Andrew Marr, Peter Snow and David Dimbleby. The 2001 General Election was the first in which pictures of the party logos appeared on the ballot paper. Previous to this, the ballot paper had only contained the candidate's name and party name; the election had been expected on 3 May, to coincide with local elections, but both were postponed because of rural movement restrictions imposed in response to the foot and mouth outbreak.
The elections were marked by voter apathy, with turnout falling to 59.4%, the lowest since the Coupon Election of 1918. Throughout the election the Labour Party had maintained a significant lead in the opinion polls and the result was deemed to be so certain that some bookmakers paid out for a Labour majority before the election day. However, the opinion polls the previous autumn had shown the first Tory lead in the opinion polls for eight years as they benefited from the public anger towards the government over the fuel protests which had led to a severe shortage of motor fuel. By the end of 2000, the dispute had been solved and Labour were back in the lead of the opinion polls. In total, a mere 29 parliamentary seats changed hands at the 2001 Election. One of the more noted events of a quiet campaign was when countryside protester Craig Evans threw an egg at Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in Rhyl. 2001 saw the rare election of an independent. Dr. Richard Taylor of Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern unseated a government minister.
There was a high vote for British National Party leader Nick Griffin in Oldham, in the wake of recent race riots in the town. In Northern Ireland, the election was far more dramatic and marked a move by unionists away from support for the Good Friday Agreement, with the moderate unionist Ulster Unionist Party losing to the more hardline Democratic Unionist Party; this polarisation was seen in the nationalist community, with the Social Democratic and Labour Party vote losing out to more left-wing and republican Sinn Féin. It saw a tightening of the parties as the small UK Unionist Party lost its only seat. For Labour, the last four years had run smoothly; the party had defended all their by election seats, many suspected a Labour win was inevitable from the start. Many in the party however were afraid of voter apathy, epitomised in the "Hague with Lady Thatcher's hair" poster. Despite recessions in mainland Europe and the United States, due to the bursting of global tech bubbles, Britain was notably unaffected and Labour however could rely on a strong economy as unemployment continued to decline toward election day, putting to rest any fears of a Labour government putting the economic situation at risk.
For William Hague, the Conservative Party had still not recovered from the loss in 199